Soul Sessions by CreativeMind

How to Balance Your Personality Type

August 29, 2023 Debra Berndt Maldonado and Robert Maldonado PhD Life Coach Training and Personal Transformation Experts Season 7 Episode 176
Soul Sessions by CreativeMind
How to Balance Your Personality Type
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

To kick off our new series on Jungian Psychology, we begin exploring the personality types, with a deep look into introvert vs. extrovert, and how to balance your personality type with the process of Individuation. We discuss:

  • Introverts and Extroverts throughout history 
  • Jung's inspiration for his personality theory 
  • The difference between feeling and sensing 
  • Jung's view on intuition

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How to Balance Your Personality Type Transcript

INTRO  00:00

Welcome to Soul Sessions with CreativeMind with Debra Berndt Maldonado and Dr. Rob Maldonado of CreativeMind. Join us each week for inspiring conversation about personal development based on Jungian philosophy, Eastern spirituality, and social neuroscience. Spend each week with us to explore deep topics in a practical way. Let's begin. 


Debra Maldonado  00:28 

Hello, welcome again to Soul Sessions with Debra Maldonado and Rob Maldonado. We are here with CreativeMind, offering this wonderful podcast for you every week to go deeper into wonderful psychological topics. Today we’re talking about Carl Jung and his contribution to psychology. But before we begin, if you're listening to us on one of the podcast services, don't forget to subscribe to our channel, so you can hear this entire series, and also hear our previous episodes. Of course, we have to do a whole series on Jung because he's such a big impact on our lives and the work that we do.


Robert Maldonado  01:09

His contributions are many, and, I venture to say, most of you speak Jungian already. If you've ever used the term “introvert”, “extrovert”, “feeling”, “complexes”, “thinking types”, a whole slew of vocabulary that has been adopted by the culture, that's Jung and part of his work. We figured we'd talk a little bit about his work on personality and especially psychological types.


Debra Maldonado  01:48

It was one of his first contributions, the personality types. He wrote a book on personality types. One of the main parts of it was introvert and extrovert, he came up with those terms. It's fascinating because I always thought introverts are shy people and extroverts were people that weren't shy, but it's much deeper than that.


Robert Maldonado  02:16

Let's start with a couple of examples. Albert Einstein.


Debra Maldonado  02:21

I’d say he's an introvert.


Robert Maldonado  02:23

Very much into analytical thinking, looking inward, introspection, very comfortable sitting for hours and hours with his own ideas and his own thoughts, his own imagination, not needing a lot of company or a lot of feedback from others.


Debra Maldonado  02:48

They say introverts are really into their internal world, the world of thoughts, the way you're feeling, self reflection. That's where you get your energy from. You don't get your energy from the external world, more like your inner world is so rich, maybe more solitary because you don't mind being alone because you get your energy internally.


Robert Maldonado  03:09

Winston Churchill, British statesman, who got the UK through the World War II and their struggle against the Nazis. Incredible leadership, very extroverted. He needs that attention, that communication with his audience to really feel alive and decorated. Very different than Einstein.


Debra Maldonado  03:39

More oriented toward external world, external people, events, things happening out in the world, wanting to lead others, get through people and through action out in the world. More action oriented?


Robert Maldonado  03:54

These are not discrete categories, it’s not like you can't do anything that's introverted, if you are an extrovert or vice versa. We're mostly a combination of both but we tend to be more comfortable, that's what Jung was getting at, we tend to be more comfortable, more oriented, it feels more natural to us to be one or the other, depending on our predisposition. JK Rowling, the author of Harry Potter. She was a single mom, who had some kids and wrote these in cafes and the kitchen table, out of her imagination.


Debra Maldonado  04:40

That's the introvert. The introvert is a writer, usually someone who's a philosopher, you have to have a rich inner world to create fiction.


Robert Maldonado  04:50

There are writers that can be extroverted, like Hemingway. He’s considered an extrovert, he was always into going out there and making it. He ran off to Spain while the Spanish civil war was going on against the fascists. Very involved in world history.


Debra Maldonado  05:11

Motivational speakers a lot of times write books, but they're not writing the books. They hire a ghostwriter to write their books because they're more extroverted, they don't have deep introspection. They get their energy from being in front of a crowd, being onstage. Again, you can be both.


Robert Maldonado  05:29

What about Oprah, you're one of your favorites?


Debra Maldonado  05:33

Definitely an extrovert. She's very extroverted. I'm sure she has her moments of introversion. She has her book club and she loves philosophy. But her primary is the extrovert. Again, you aren’t just one or the other. It just seems that you prefer one over the other. Rob, I think you're an introvert?


Robert Maldonado  06:00

But I enjoy being on camera, speaking, teaching. There is a shadow aspect to the introvert extrovert.


Debra Maldonado  06:12

A lot of people think I'm such an extrovert, but I'm totally fine with being unplugged, reading books, not having go to social events. I'd rather have my inner world, and I'm a writer too. That's something that came natural to me. Also my whole family is very extroverted. I always felt there was something weird, I was like a weirdo, because I liked to sit alone, type and write stories, and everyone else was external. That's really interesting, when we figure out what type we are, that primary type, to think about how we feel. Maybe we were pushed, we were in a group or a family group that didn't honor that.


Robert Maldonado  06:59

One last one before we get into the theory of personality. Mahatma Gandhi. Here we have somebody that's kind of both. He loves the Gita, silent spiritual retreats where for days and days, he'd be in solitude, not speaking to others. You see a combination of these things. I'd say overall introvert, but he was out there, making things happen in society and very much involved in politics.


Debra Maldonado  07:37

Would it be fair to say an introvert would love to spend a vacation reading a book, writing, doing self reflection and meditation, where an extrovert needs to have a party, the light of people around, social activities, being in action, maybe doing sports or something with other people? If you can answer the question what your favorite vacation is, you know what type you are. Where did he come up with this idea? What inspired that introvert/extrovert?


Robert Maldonado  08:16

In general psychology, there's a whole section of psychological theory devoted to personality. It's called personality psychology or personality theories. People have contributed throughout the years, different psychologists have contributed to the field of personality psychology in important ways, Jung was one of the first ones to really think about personality in this holistic, big picture way. His question was “Is there a psychological orientation? Is there a way of perceiving the world, or an attitude towards that relationship with others that defines an individual?” He started experimenting and looking at different ideas. One of them is thinking, feeling, sensing and intuition concept. He saw these mental or cognitive functions are universal, we all have them. If you combine them with introversion and extraversion, you get about eight different sets of personality types, or psychological types.


Debra Maldonado  09:44

They're always like a spectrum. You could be leaning toward one or the other, but it doesn't mean you don't have the other.


Robert Maldonado  09:52

For Einstein, thinking would be what he leads with.


Debra Maldonado  10:00

Using cognition. Would that be someone who's thinking about things, through their thoughts?


Robert Maldonado  10:07

Very analytical, but again, it's a spectrum. Good scientists, like good artists, depend on their intuition. They depend on their feeling as well as their sensing. They go by hunches, they go by what feels right. They often depend on dreams or meaningful coincidences, as Jung would say, synchronistic events to give them their best ideas.


Debra Maldonado  10:39

Like Einstein, it was the train going by and the time that made him come up with this idea. He started thinking about this idea, but he had a feeling that this is weird and off. 


INTERMISSION  10:54 

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Debra Maldonado  11:48

I'd love for us to have a discussion on the difference between feeling and sensing. A lot of times people say “I'm sensing this” or “I'm feeling this”, these words are often used in the same context.


Robert Maldonado  11:59

These words, of course, have very shaded meanings because people use them in very different ways. But we're looking at Jung’s work and the way his mind was, he was very disciplined in some regards. If you think about sensing, the clue is in the word, the senses. Sensing is about the five senses, what you can feel, touch, experience in the moment.


Debra Maldonado  12:30

In the moment, which is really interesting. I see what's here, I'm going to organize and orient my decisions based on the evidence of the senses, make conclusions over the evidence of the senses. You can look at your life and how much of your life decisions are made by what I can see and not really thinking about anything. Maybe as intuitive, like “I need to see it first to believe it” type of person.


Robert Maldonado  13:00

With feeling, of course, you're talking about emotions, more of what is the sense of meaning that I ascribe to this situation, this experience, or the problem that I'm trying to solve.


Debra Maldonado  13:15

Having a feeling about something that you're not looking for as much as the senses, but how you feel about a situation can make you have it make a decision. One thing is that these are all ego. They're not really true potential. A lot of people make decisions from their feeling. If something feels uncomfortable, they're like “My gut is telling me I shouldn't do this.” But that's your ego. We have to look at all these ways where we're deep by default making decisions, living our life, and examining what's our default, but also know that these are all coming from the ego, except for maybe intuition.


Robert Maldonado  14:01

That's a good question. Let's finish up the four and then we can think about the bigger picture because Jung was very much into understanding not only the ego, but the true self. Intuition, from Carl Jung's point of view, was our perception of the unconscious mind. It's always there, it’s beneath the liminal experience that we're having, the conscious awareness. It's the subliminal, it's the things we can’t see, but are there and we can intuit, we can, through our intuition, get a sense that there's something there. I might not be able to describe it or really give words to it but it's a direct knowing of something that's true, or that we feel is true, or we intuit is true. That's our intuition. It's a very powerful experience when we have it, because it gives us that certainty. I know this is true, I just know it.


Debra Maldonado  15:19

It feels weird with intuition, because it stands out from the thinking, feeling, sensing, all those ways of processing information or processing a decision about people, about what you're going to do with your life, or what the next step is. Intuition for me always seems less logical, it doesn't have logic, it may not even have a feeling attached to it. The gut feeling is not intuition. Intuition is like “This makes no sense at all. I'm looking at the senses, I'm feeling my feelings. I'm looking at my logic. This makes no sense. But I feel like I need to do this.” So many times in my life, I'm sure you've had times where you made decisions that made completely no sense. Everyone else thinks you're crazy, why are you doing that, but you just feel “I know this.” People that actually create, the Wright brothers who had this idea that if a bird can fly, man can fly. Where did that come from? It came from their intuition. They had no sense of it, they had no feeling, it wasn't evidence of logic. They just felt this other place. It's where the divine enters in our life, our higher selves are having us think beyond the limited ways of processing the world.


Robert Maldonado  16:40

They're all working at the same time, though. We can’t really shut out our thinking because it's always operating. It's a function of the mind.


Debra Maldonado  16:55

We know we have to process what the intuition is telling us through thoughts and feelings.


Robert Maldonado  17:01

They're all operating together. This is an important point to make in developing theories, the theoretician always has to parcel out “What am I talking about? I have to define what is thinking versus feeling.” But it doesn't mean these factors are not interacting.


Debra Maldonado  17:26

You're like “I'm a logical person”, but you always have an element of feeling, you always have an element of sensing and intuition, it's just that one is predominant. It’s your go to that you make decisions from. We ignore our intuition too. We have these ideas, then our logic comes in and says “Nope.” That could be the case.


Robert Maldonado  17:52

That's where the environment comes in. You have predispositions that you're born with, from your parents, grandparents, and so forth. But then the environment, your family system, the school, the culture that you grew up, the language, or the languages that you learn, all those have a bearing on how these predispositions are expressed. At the end, you get the individual, your particular personality is defined by the combination of your predispositions, genetic and epigenetic, and  the conditioning of the culture and the environment.


Debra Maldonado  18:41

So we're conditioned through genetics as well as the environment?


Robert Maldonado  18:48

Genetics would be a predisposition. You're born with it, then it's expressed through.


Debra Maldonado  18:55

But then it all culminates into your patterns. The most important part of this whole idea of personality types is that it's the persona, another term Jung came up with to talk about the masks that we wear. We have this mask we present ourselves with, so we can be an introvert but hide it by trying to compensate for it, where we could be a certain way. Say, you're really intuitive, but you can't share that because everyone thinks you're woowoo or something, it's not respected. Can it also be that you have a predisposition to be really intuitive, but then the family system does not honor it, so you forget it?


Robert Maldonado  19:40

In Jungian terms it would go into the shadow, you repress it into your personal unconscious, you forget about it, you feel like you don't have intuition, you don’t express yourself that way.


Debra Maldonado  20:01

Also feelings, you could be more a feeling person but if the family around you is more thinking and logic, they'll be like “Don't do that.” It's still a part of you, but you haven't expressed it.


Robert Maldonado  20:14

The bigger picture then — and this is an important point to understand Carl Jung's work, many people just take one section of it and think “I see what he's saying.” But you have to look at the big picture to understand his work, especially these smaller components of his work. The big picture for him was that we’re not the persona, we’re not the personality. It's an important aspect of who we are in the beginning because we have to establish ourselves as social beings and develop a personality, a persona, a mask. But there's more to us, he says, there's a true self that is really the aim of human life.


Debra Maldonado  21:03

This is our starting point, our launching pad, our default personality. The first step would be to face the shadow of the suppressed parts of our personality that we weren't allowed to, they weren't conditioned out of us, but conditioned to be repressed. Not on purpose, people don't intentionally tell you “You have to stop being that way.” Sometimes, but most of the time, it's innate. We implied in the family that we do not talk about those things: we don't talk about ghosts, or seeing spirits, or having intuition, or anything like that. Or maybe your family is very intuitive, then there was no logic. You didn't have a chance to have that discernment. It gets into the magical thinking, then it can be opposite of that personality.


Robert Maldonado  21:53

Not only that, you can think of it as the environment, the family and the culture telling you what you should think about that function. What is intuition? You might say “I have intuition” but what does it mean for you? How should you think about it? That meaning comes from the environment. You're taught what it means, then you believe it. Conditioning is a very powerful experience for us humans. It helps us fit in, survive, and learn. But it also conditions us, it limits us as to how far we're going to take our mind, or how we're going to see our mind. Jung said there's a way out of this conundrum. We are conditioned by our environment, we start to believe that's who we are. He says, through individuation, through introspection, we can free our mind from that conditioning. Then we decide what we do with these cognitive functions. We're free to decide for ourselves what these things mean for us and how we're going to use them.


Debra Maldonado  23:15

We often talk about people starting a career based on personality, we're what people expect. They end up at midlife saying “This isn’t the career I want.” Introverted individuals like deep reflection and solitary work, such as philosophy and writing. If you're an introvert but you're not rewarded for that, or you can't make money being a writer, or whatever it is, you tend to push it aside. You have to go out and be in the world, something that's more acceptable in your culture and your society. Extroverts thrive with social interaction, they make great leaders, great salespeople, they're in politics. I find interesting that a lot of people who do personal development, want to be coaches or therapists, many times are introverts. They love going inside, they love reading books, they love self reflection, they love understanding philosophy. But then when it comes to being an entrepreneur, now it's this other muscle. It’s like “How do I be an extrovert now because my default is that?” Jung talked about wanting balance, we want to be able to not feel chained by our introversion or extroversion. We want to be able to use that, that's where our sweet spot is, but also how to integrate the other part of ourselves? That's individuation.


Robert Maldonado  24:49

Individuation begins with shadow work, which is precisely facing, if you're an introvert, what is the extraversion aspect of my personality. Because it's in there, it's in the unconscious, in the shadow. You pushed it away, you said “That's not who I am. That's not how I express myself. That's not what I do.” Therefore, your example of entrepreneurs attempting to become successful, they have to do their individuation. They have to look at what is in my unconscious, what have I pushed away that prevents me or limits me from expressing my full potential.


Debra Maldonado  25:39

I don't think it's bad, but we get used to being in our way. I love being internal. To be external doesn't feel natural because we're not used to it. But it doesn't mean it’s not potential in us. With individuation, it's about what the gift of extraversion is. What can it add to my life if I can integrate an extroverted aspect of my personality? For me, it's getting used to speaking in public and doing videos like this. That would terrify me 30 years ago, this would be the scariest thing. But here I am. How about you, Rob?


Robert Maldonado  26:23

I've always pushed myself to do things that are uncomfortable, like public speaking, getting up on stage. But it's only after I started looking at Jung's work in a personal sense, asking myself “How can I individuate? How can I integrate these shadow aspects of my personality, so that I have a choice?” I don't like living by limitations and saying “You can't do this, you can't do that?” If I want to do something that is required as a way of reaching my goals, I should be able to do it, regardless of how difficult or how challenging or how uncomfortable it makes me feel. That is part of the individuation process.


Debra Maldonado  27:15

Especially when it comes to sales, if you have your own practice, it feels so unnatural. I like to do one on one, to be the caretaker, to take care of people. I don't want to be a slimy salesperson and have to pitch my work to people, it feels very uncomfortable. But you have to look at it beyond that judgment and say “What's the gift in that?” Be able to invite someone to come into your world for a transformation and to reexamine what that is. You can integrate it instead of thinking with the ego. It likes to make things black and white, that's all bad, or this is all good. How do we have a more balanced personality?


Robert Maldonado  27:58

As far as the functions of thinking, feeling, sensing, and intuition, you're free to use any of those tools in your creative endeavors. It's a powerful psychology that Jung lays out. But again, you have to look at the big picture to really understand what he was talking about and what he was aiming for.


Debra Maldonado  28:21

Instead of just saying “I'm an introvert, I'm gonna take that little piece, I'm a feeling person. I understand how I am, that's just the way it is. I'm going to cope with that.” When I first started doing personal development, it was like, you take that personality type, this is how you create your life around it. Individuation is about breaking out of that, you’re that plus so many other things. Very important. I want to thank you again for joining us. Don't forget to subscribe, click on Subscribe in your podcast services, iTunes, Spotify, all those wonderful services that carry Soul Sessions. Really excited for this series.


Robert Maldonado  29:06

See you next time.


Debra Maldonado  29:07

Take care. 


Debra Maldonado  29:10 

Thank you for joining us. Don't forget to subscribe to CreativeMind Soul Sessions. Join us next week as we explore another deep topic where you can consciously create your life with CreativeMind Soul Session. See you next time.



Introduction
Examples of introverts & extroverts through history
Jung’s inspiration for his personality theory
Difference between feeling and sensing
Jung’s view on intuition